5 things you need to know in Australian tech today


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Who needs VC when you’ve got crowdfunding? Flow Hive’s Cedar and Stuart Anderson with the idea that raised nearly $A20m. Photo: supplied

Woohoo! Friday. Last round of the AFL season. Go Swans. And thanks Brent Harvey.

1. STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND UPDATE YOUR IPHONE. Why? Because of this major security flaw that could see you lose control of your device.

Security firm Lookout found the problem overnight – a flaw that exploits iOS so a third party can get complete control over your iPhone. Bad Apple. Bad Tim Cook.

Here’s the video version of what you should do:

2. Brin there, done that. Technology entrepreneur Dale Beaumont recently launched BRiN, the world’s first artificially intelligent business advisor. So we asked him what 5 business apps float his boat. Yes, he included himself, and four extremely handy others to help transform the way you work.

3. Here’s what disruption does to incumbents. Amid the current reporting season, it’s worth noting how much Cabcharge, once the 500lb gorilla of the taxi industry, has been smashed by Uber. Meanwhile, taxpayers are forking out out more than $600 million to let the US giant into the market, which led Paul Colgan to ponder what other sectors should be getting handouts for disruption.

But cheer up, cause if you think the incumbents are in pain, spare a thought for Uber, WHICH LOST A GOBSMACKING $US1.27 BILLION ($A1.66bn) in the first half of 2016. Add that to close to $1 billion down the drain in the first half of 2015. BI heard Uber’s battle with Didi Chuxing in China cost them $1 billion a year before they merged earlier this month in a $35 billion deal.

4. The greatest names in tech. No, not what they do or have achieved. Just their names. Like Hyperloop One founder Brogan BamBrogan, and the nominative determinism of Bill Ready, CEO of online payment gateway Braintree. Peter Farquhar’s had some tongue-in-cheek fun picking out the best names in tech and finance.

5. Remember Flow Hive? About 18 months ago, as father and son Australian inventors Stuart and Cedar Anderson launched a crowdfunding campaign for their beehive system on Indiegogo, they were after $US70,000 – a target they hit in eight minutes. It went nuts. Within three hours they had $US1 million in pledges and pre-sales, a day later, it was $US2.18 million ($AU2.8M) and setting a record for the most funds raised in a day.

Now it’s payday with the orders finally shipping for those patient earlier investors in the beehive that became a global phenomenon. The Andersons, from Byron Bay on the NSW North Coast, also opened the Indiegogo campaign one more time, closing it this week with a staggering $US13.24 million – just under $A20m – raised from 35,000 orders in 100 countries. Nice work guys.

BONUS ITEM: We were starting to worry that all the amazing things drones were supposedly doing were a bit like Loch Ness monster sightings – lacking proper photographic evidence. Then this story landed, literally, from our morning editor, Peter Farquhar, who spent the weekend hanging out with drone dudes on a farm in Tasmania’s central highlands. It’s cool. Literally. BRING. IT. ON!!!!

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.

Find me on Twitter at @simonthomsen.

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